Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Memory Inventory: Senior Year Memories

I can only imagine how ridiculous someone's senior year in high school must be these days.  Even way back in 1995, there were all these weird products and expectations and things you had to buy in order to preserve the memories forever.  Along with name cards, invitations, announcements, and photos, for some reason the "package" I chose came with a shiny black book entitled Senior Year Memories.  I still have it, even though only a few pages contain anything memorable.

Apparently the expectation was to fill in the pages with all the details you were supposed to remember from your senior year.  Unfortunately for me, I didn't receive it until May or June and therefore had forgotten most of what I was supposed to remember.  By that point, the homecoming dance back in October was a distant memory, the swim season had been finished for 2 months.  My mind was on the future (as usual) and not on the recent past.

The few pages that contain any writing don't really help me recall any memories at all.  Instead, they draw my mind to those relationships from high school and how they developed or diminished over the past 15 years.  The "Signatures" pages contain entire pages written by friends, most of whom I haven't even spoken to in years.

But there are a couple pages which stand out.  A couple pages that I look at now and wonder to myself, "How could I have been so blind?"  For those who don't know, I went to high school with my wife.  We dated for a little over a year, but had broken up.  By the end of senior year, we were back to being really good close friends.  There was a page at the front of the book where you were supposed to write down your thoughts about "a special friend."  Here's a bit of what I wrote about her: 
"She was my first girlfriend and my first kiss.  She is one of the strongest and weakest people I have ever known.  Sometimes she needs to lean on me, and I am a willing crutch.  Sometimes she just needs a hug, and I am a happy supplier."
 A few pages later, on one of the "Signatures" pages, she wrote back.  I'm not going to quote her here because I haven't asked her, but rereading these two pages now, I see the connection which continued to draw us together over the course of our very different lives.  Over the past 15 years since that time, we've drifted together, apart, lost track, back together, and fell in love.  After scanning the six or so pages that actually contain written memories into the old HP, I tossed them and the rest of the book in the trash (I'm cleaning house here).  But these two pages aren't going anywhere.  I'm going to frame them, hang them up, and keep them close to me for the rest of my life.  Just like I'm going to hold her for the rest of my life.

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